Computing the minimal crew for a multi-generational space travel towards Proxima Centauri b

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2018

F. Marin, C. Beluffi
(Submitted on 11 Jun 2018)

The survival of a genetically healthy multi-generational crew is of a prime concern when dealing with space travel. It has been shown that determining a realistic population size is tricky as many parameters (such as infertility, inbreeding, sudden deaths, accidents or random events) come into play. To evaluate the impact of those parameters, Monte Carlo simulations are among the best methods since they allow testing of all possible scenarios and determine, by numerous iterations, which are the most likely. This is why we use the Monte Carlo code HERITAGE to estimate the minimal crew for a multi-generational space travel towards Proxima Centauri b. By allowing the crew to evolve under a list of adaptive social engineering principles (namely yearly evaluations of the vessel population, offspring restrictions and breeding constraints), we show in this paper that it is possible to create and maintain a healthy population virtually indefinitely. A initial amount of 25 breeding pairs of settlers drives the mission towards extinction in 50 +/- 15% of cases if we completely forbid inbreeding. Under the set of parameters described in this publication, we find that a minimum crew of 98 people is necessary ensure a 100% success rate for a 6300-year space travel towards the closest telluric exoplanet known so far.

Comments:    8 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables. Accepted for publication in JBIS
Subjects:    Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph)
MSC classes:    85-04, 91C99
ACM classes:    J.2; K.4
Cite as:    arXiv:1806.03856 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1806.03856v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Frédéric Marin [view email]
[v1] Mon, 11 Jun 2018 08:32:49 GMT (451kb)

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